Are software engineers really engineers?

If you work with software, you probably have an opinion on the topic. Unless you're also a classical engineer, why not read Hillel's cool crossover project first? Based on interviews with 17 people who have worked in both areas, to clear up misconceptions. The first part was just published:

· · Web · 5 · 5 · 13

Also, you have to wait for part 2 and 3, and that's a nice exercise in waiting to form your opinion or your comment.

haha, imagine asking the internet to *wait* before forming an opinion

ridiculous, I deserved everything I got

@rixx argh, feeling so ashamed 🙈. Read the intro, wanted to tell a non-opinionated anecdote, got distracted by offline world before reading the article, had another thought, posted without thinking....and lost all my internet points for today. It happens so quickly 😭

@rami kinda same here, read your post, than the initial post from @rixx added the article to my reading list and thought "just this thought" about what @rami wrote. And then I said very long that the topic sounds interesting but I'm not the main audience. Happens :/

@leah @rami haha, all good, I didn't really think it would work, but I had to try!

@rixx I just learnd about design patterns. Guess that makes the reading a bit easier?

@rixx they could just freeze time with that budget but we are governed by a bunch of monkeys trying to play monopoly with fake bananas.

@rixx I came originally from electrical engineering and very often remember a quote from one of my mentors: "If you're not measuring then you're not engineering but tinkering!"

@dwardoric I am not exactly disagreeing with that, but I think Hillel makes a really good point, and measuring things does happen within the frame that Hillel brings up.

@rixx Yep, I think so far I mostly agree with him and wait for his further posts.
Having walked on both sides of the street it is interesting (seeing some kind of totally unnecessary inferiority complex in software eng.) and sometimes not so funny (knowing a quite a number of "real" engineers bashing on the "softies").

@rixx I recall Daniele Procida sharing an office with an architect who gets furious when hearing the term software architect

@rixx I think the fact that we have people doing the more or less same job calling themselves computer scientists, software architects, software engineers, and there's a movement called software craftsmanship (yes, there are nuances to all of them) highlights very strongly that we're all just searching for a good analogy and obviously none of them really holds up when looking closely.

@rami I disagree, and think that Hillel's position is pretty strong and supported by good research.

And as for the architect you mentioned – Standesdünkel much? I don't think "architect" is the best word, and there's a reason the series is about engineering, but still …

@rami @rixx in my head this is raising the question why not use the word programmer or software developer. But this isn't the question here. Since I'm none of the above, I would call myself an infrastructure/operations engineer, I will now leave and watch the discussion with curiosity. Maybe I can learn something because I would guess the discussion could also be held on this kind of engineer.

@leah @rami Because programmers are something different than software engineers, just like electricians are something different from electrical engineers. As the article I linked states.

@leah @rami You can of course say about electrical engineers "why not call them electricians"

but I'm pretty sure that neither electricians nor electrical engineers would be very happy with the suggestion

@rixx @rami good point. And just to be sure, it was a comment on ramis post. I have no opinion on this discussion so far.

@rami @rixx Would software designer be the same as a software architect in this context? Because I can see a (clear) distinction between a person designing a software (as in "big picture") and a(nother) person implementing/programming it (as in "the details").

@rixx I'm obviously very much guilty of not reading the article to the very end before posting, so the only open question for me is how to say "in der Ecke schämen" in English, because the article beautifully all other points I had in my mind and I'm fully convinced now.

@rixx I'd love to know the opinion of "classical engineers" and crossovers about , in particular the part with "I don't quite know how to put this, but our entire field is bad at what we do, and if you rely on us, everyone will die."

@rixx Very thoughtful article. I will probably read it again once in a while just to keep some perspectives alive from it. While reading it I remembered, that a more senior colleague told me "the purpose of ab engineer is to make money from science". 1/2

@rixx Even though this is somewhat narrow as a universal theory, the attitude towards science is somewhat special for an engineer in comparison to a technican or a trained specialist. Many of the technicans I have met while working as an engineer had astonishing skills, but very often got lost when we entered the uncharted territories (uncharted for us, not necessarily for others). This is where I think the engineer kicked in and I felt comfortable with my analysis and training.

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